責任ある夢想 / Responsible Dreamers

Japan is country where the freedom of speech is quite wide. It’s fun for like-minded people to gather and get excited about certain subjects, but it’s important to think of online forums as places where there is little private spaces.

It’s probably better to think that you have no means of “whispering” something online–Everything gets amplified very quickly. I personally try to only say things to the entire world that I would not mind sharing with people when I am riding the train.

In the past, it used to be thought speech conduced in Japanese could only be heard by other Japanese people. But now, thanks to the popularity of Japanese manga and anime, there are huge numbers of people who study Japanese that are not from Japan. The number of people who can translate material from Japanese to other languages are increasing as well. Machine translation tools easily available through the Internet have evolved to the point where they can easily translate ordinary conversations and more structured forms of text, such as news articles. What you say can reach people all around the world. Unless you intentionally direct your speech to only specific individuals through private channels, the Internet is a public forum where your speech can be examined by all.

within the realm of fiction, you should exercise your imagination with the least amount of restriction. Freedom is one of Japan’s greatest strengths, and it is a tool that allows you to go on the offensive. Experimentation within our minds is one of the cornerstones of how humanity progressed through the ages.

But words and text can deemed harmful by some. Even if the speaker meant to engage in humor or fiction, the listener may not understand it as such. But, if the speaker is deliberate in their presentation, this type of misunderstandings can be reduced.

As we are all human beings, so I am confident we can appreciate the wonders of creativity and imagination others bring about. There might be room for disagreement regarding what is permissible for what should be accepted as free speech, but we can mutually understand the importance of how human imagination can open up new vantage points and enrich the lives of individuals. If the work you created is a piece of fiction, then you should make that really clear to the audience. And if you are asked to explain aspects of your work, you should try explain it as best as you can. You do not need to explain the content of your work. There are numerous ways you can share with other the approach you take toward your own creations. Try to find a way that works best for you.

Thinking unassumingly along the lines of “this is fine because other people are making similar statements” and “there are other works that are just like this, so I must be in the clear” are very dangerous. It’s important to realize that different types of presentations will reach different audiences.

It’s impossible to predict how every and all audiences will accept your work. It is not very productive to conduct self-censorship out of fear of people with different perspectives. I believe a culture grows richer by addition, not by subtraction. For this reason try to remain calm and be delicate in how you react when someone aggressively criticizes you. Different perspectives are an opportunity to learn.

You should strive to say works and create works that you can take responsibility for. This is not a slight responsibility, but those who responsibility fulfill that duty will gain the respect of others. Heavy criticism, lack of popularity, and/or the perception of worthlessness are not enough to revoke the protected status awarded to a particular work or statements by the principle of free speech. Free speech does not exist to protect works that are respected and/or popular, but instead is a fundamental right that aims to protect the very speech many find disagreeable.

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